WHEN you grow up on a farm you can't help but recognise good produce and that's exactly what one butcher believes is the secret ingredient to his winner sausage.
One half of Springfield's Two Butchers gourmet butcher shop, Steve McMeniman said he and business partner Ken Kearney chose to go straight to the farm to source their produce and it was their high quality of meat which helped secure bronze in the Traditional Australian Beef category at this year's Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) QLD Sausage King competition.
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC's) Sausage King & Best Butchers Burger competition was held at Brothers Leagues Club on July 11 where local independent butchers were judged by a team of consumer and industry experts where produce was judged in two stages; the uncooked stage which looked at external appearances, textures, blooms, shapes and consistencies of the products; and the cooked (barbecued) stage which looked at appearance, distribution of texture, ingredients and flavour.
Mr McMeniman said the pair had only been in business for four months but were already movers and shakers in the Springfield food scene and were chuffed with their win.
"The guys from the Australian Meat Industry Council saw that we were a new business in Springfield and wanted us to give the competition a go as they had received good reports about our sausages," Mr McMeniman said.
"We make beef and pork sausages as well as a special lamb, pumpkin and feta recipe which are all hand-made with our own ingredients and all used from our own beef which I think is our point of difference because we have two farmers near Warwick that we work with.
"Being a farmer boy myself I just know when its good cattle and when it's not, so dealing with the farmers direct you know what you're going to get."
Mr McMeniman is originally from Tenterfield in NSW and worked as a butcher for 10 years before working for the police and in the mines.
It was after his son was born and his family moved to Springfield 18 months ago that he decided to give his butcher career another crack and contacted old friend Mr Kearney whom he met during his early butcher days.
The two saw the potential and need for a gourmet butcher shop in Springfield and said they haven't looked back since.
"I moved out to Springfield while I was still in the mines and just loved the area and the people and thought it was a good little market for a shop and a reason for me to leave the mines," Mr McMeniman said.
"I think Springfield Central needed a good quality butcher and like I said, our main point of difference is that we deal directly with the farmers, so now we have customers coming from Wellington Point and West End and I think it's fair to say we've put our name on the map.
"I love that you almost need to be a chef nowadays as a new-age butcher and winning the award has given us the encouragement to come up with new things and has inspired us to create new produce like our new Jack Daniels Australian dry-aged beef sausage which has been an absolute cracker."
Categories at the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC's) Sausage King & Best Butchers Burger competition included Traditional Australian Beef, Traditional Australian Pork, Poultry, Australian Lamb/Open Class, Continental and Gourmet/Open Class the classic Beef Burger as well as the Gourmet/Open Class burgers made from Beef, Pork, Lamb and Poultry.